It's been a long week by any measure, and I was happy to offer some assistance today to a few associates impacted by the job eliminations.  Having experienced this in SiValley myself, I hope that I'm able to make an impact and help where possible.

One person who is making a difference (in his own product group) is Richard Sprague, who offers this post on Disproving the Qwerty effect

"I still run into people who cite the “Qwerty effect” as evidence that sometimes a big head start will give an inferior technology unfair market dominance at the expense of “better” ones. This theory has been disproven historically (it’s not true that the inventor of the typewriter deliberately mangled the layout in order to prevent keys from jamming) but it still shows up in people who cite the superiority of the Beta format over VHS (in fact, the double-length recording time of VHS made it superior, and videophiles at the time weren’t even in agreement about whether or not Beta had a quality advantage), or the superiority of <insert your favorite non-MS product> over <insert some less popular product>. It turns out that in real life, the superior technology almost always wins.

"Well, finally somebody decided to test the effect in the lab, under controlled conditions. A new paper by Tanjim Hossain and John Morgan shows the results of experiments they did in a lab..."

Marketing: Social media's hidden bubble | The Social - CNET News, January 15, 2009, by Caroline McCarthy -- "As the recession rapidly sucks the momentum out of Web 2.0's heyday, with it may go one of the era's most defining terms: the job title "social media expert." 

Microsoft Rumored To Add Mobile Devices to Live Mesh With SkyBox, by Erick Schonfeld, January 19, 2009 -- "It looks like Microsoft is finally ready to roll out the mobile version of Windows Live Mesh, it data syncing service that competes with Apple’s MobileMe (which ran into problems at launch). Live Mesh was first announced last April, and currently only supports Windows PCs and a Webtop in the cloud. Mac and mobile versions are shown to be “coming soon.” 

I'm not sure that I agree with her assessment, but Maggie Fox writes (January 10th, 2009) that Netbooks: mobile social computing laptop killers -- " It’s January 10th and high time I made some prognostications about some of the things to come in 2009. I’m going to sum up something that has been on my mind this week in one sentence that has very broad implications: netbooks are going to destroy the traditional laptop market."

Filed under the "you're not frickin' kidding" file: The Older You Are, the Better You Multi-Task (If You're a Woman) written by Sarah Perez / January 19, 2009 -- "New data released by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) gives us insight into how men and women engage in "simultaneous media use" - that is, surfing the net while also doing some other activity like watching TV. According to the study, it's more common for women to watch TV and use the computer than it is for men. What's more, women supposedly get better at this multi-tasking as they age."

How To Dual Boot Vista and Windows 7 (NetworkWorld.com) by Mitchell Ashley on Sun, 01/18/09 - 10:17pm. "I moved Windows 7 onto my primary laptop this weekend after testing it on another machine in my lab. Rather than wipe out the Vista installation on my laptop, I decided to set it up as a dual boot machine. The process generally is pretty easy, though you can run into some snags along the way. Here's the process for (and my experiences) converting a Vista machine into a dual boot Vista and Windows 7 machine."

I Am Paddy » How Do You Twitter: Guy Kawasaki? Another Twitter interview with an Internet guru, this time with Guy Kawasaki, writer and co-founder of digital magazine rack AllTop.com.

Yes, the legendary actor has his own web site. THE REAL BRENT SPINER WEBSITE

Switched Digital Video - Will it impact you? – TiVo -- Switched Digital Video (SDV) is a new technology that allows cable providers to expand the programming you receive by sending certain channels to customer homes only when the channels are requested. If you have a TiVo HD, TiVo HD XL or Series 3 HD DVR with CableCARDs, you could see a blank screen on a number of channels if your cable provider makes the transition to SDV. The good news is that TiVo has worked with your cable provider to develop a solution at no cost to you.

Windows Vista Community Forums from the Microsoft Answers site, including…

Q&A: Opera CEO on antitrust battle against Internet Explorer - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source -- toddbishop Talked with Opera's CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, about Internet Explorer antitrust battle: (http://tinyurl.com/79qftz) on January 17, 2009 -- "Internet browser maker Opera Software of Norway won an early round in its antitrust battle against Microsoft on Friday when the European Commission issued its preliminary finding that Microsoft's inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows violates European competition laws by giving its browser an unfair advantage.  In an interview, Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner discussed the EU case and Opera's motivations for pursuing it."

How To Send Email Text Messages To Any Cell Phone (for Free) from your computer - The Medical Quack .... by Barbara Duck -- Thanks to @guykawasaki for this link on How to send a text message to a phone via computer – see http://adjix.com/aijm

Are You Going to Finish Strong? – Video -- Nick Vujicic has no arms or legs but has come to terms with his lot in life and he delivers an inspirational speech to these school kids that they will probably never forget.

3 Key Web Working Skills to Develop in 2009, by Darrell Etherington, January 14th, 2009 -- "If you’re a web worker, then you know the importance of constantly examining, reassessing and adding to your existing skill set. Targeting your professional development, however, in a preemptive rather than reactive way, is not always easy. A little forethought, though, can go a long way to making you the applicant of choice before any contracts are awarded."

Information on presentation skills @ reboot -- Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for this link: "This six-hour seminar will reframe the way you think and dramatically improve your next presentation! Whether you’re in business, academics, research or a non-profit, you have a message to get across that needs to resonate with your audience. This seminar will transform you into a creative thinker and change the way you prepare, design, and deliver your next presentation." Also see
Alltop - Top Speaking News

As a programmer, what are some telltale signs that you're about to get fired or laid off? - Stack Overflow – and from Dare, Top 10 signs you might be getting laid off from former Yahoo! Employee at http://bit.ly/y4cj 

Get Game Smart (getgamesmart.com) is a way to help families better manage screen time for their kids, with a focus on the Xbox 360. As Brier Dudley pointed out in his article covering the site here ... "here's a 2006 study of the effects of screen time on school performance published in Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Its conclusion: The more time kids spend on video games, TV and movies, the worse they do in school."

Ballmer and Bostock break bread, January 16, 2009 3:56 PM PST, Posted by Ina Fried -- "Well, it's official, Microsoft and Yahoo have come to an agreement. On lunch. As first noted by Valleywag, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock had lunch together this week in New York."

Brandon Paddock's Blog » Blog Archive » Windows 7 Beta hotkey cheat sheet -- Thanks to Brandon for posting about this today: "Are you someone who relies on hotkeys (keyboard shortcuts) quite a bit? Fellow Microsoftie Brandon Paddock has published a cheat sheet of hotkeys that people might find useful with the Windows 7 Beta."

Don't Worry about Apple (cringely.com) "I knew things were bad when Steve Jobs didn’t make even a token video appearance at Macworld. He would have done it, I’m sure, had he been well enough. Maybe someone at Apple, weeks before, thought of suggesting such a video, but of course to do so then would have been committing career suicide even if in retrospect it would have been a good idea. So now Steve is off on his six month (or longer) medical leave, readjusting those hormones, and the press is abuzz with what the heck Apple will do without Steve. Apple will be fine."

Video Demonstration: The Best New Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts by Adam Pash (Thu Jan 15 2009) -- "No matter what OS you use, keyboard shortcuts are a one-way ticket to enhanced productivity (plus you look awesome to friends and colleagues); Windows 7 has more cool new shortcuts than you can shake a stick at. Windows 7 boasts a lot of great new shortcuts, but I'm focusing on several of my favorites. Check out the video above for a closer look. For those of you who prefer text to video, here are all of the shortcuts I highlighted..."

Letter From The Editor: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish -- Gina Trapani says goodbye today "as site lead at Lifehacker, so I'm taking off my distanced reporter hat to get all mushy, personal, and behind-the-scenes on you. Come in and grab a seat."

The next step in applying Gladwell/ Tipping Point theories to twitter users, January 16, 2009 -- "Yesterday’s post proved a few important things to me. One, when someone like Chris Brogan re-tweets you it can drive a lot of thoughtful activity on your site. Two, because of #1, if you think that a conversation might get started don’t put up the post / tweet about it and then head off for a 4-hour dinner - I imagine the activity would have been that much greater if the comments were going “live” immediately, rather than waiting for my approval (most came in a very short time frame). And three, perhaps most importantly, I might be onto something interesting here. So the original question was whether Gladwell / Tipping Point theories, particularly in relation to mavens, connectors, and salesmen, apply to Twitter users. As a starting point, I looked at follower / following ratios as a distinguishing characteristic."

Capturing video from DV camcorder on Windows 7 (beta) -- "I’ve been Windows 7 beta user for some time now and recently I wanted to capture some video from our DV camcorder. Here is how well it worked in Windows 7 beta. I was surprised how smoothly the whole process went, especially in this beta stage."

Hawaii takes closely watched digital TV plunge -- What made me nervouse about the analogue TV shutdown in Hawaii? "the shutdown message flashed for about one minute in white text on a blue background..." Mark Niesse, AP, January 16, 2009

Microsoft moves Live Mesh under Windows chief Sinofsky -- Mary Jo Foley writes (Jan 16, 2009) "Microsoft this week moved the Live Mesh team under the Windows and Windows Live engineering unit. Live Mesh is Microsoft’s cross-platform synchronization and collaboration service that is currently in beta. I asked Microsoft whether a tip I received that David Treadwell and his Live Services Platform team are no longer under Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and received the following statement from a company spokesperson:

"The Windows Live, Live Services Platform, and Live Mesh teams will now be a part of the unified Windows Live organization under Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering. David Treadwell, Corporate Vice President, Live Services Platform, will now report to Sinofsky and will continue his work on the Live Services Platform."

Rick’s Notes from the Road (Comcast CSS) -- Posted March 5, 2008 "I believe it’s important to be involved in an ongoing dialog with our customers - to answer your questions, hear what we’re doing right, discuss where we may need to still improve and take actions to make Comcast’s customer service better. To help make it easier for you to reach us and share that feedback, we’ve recently redesigned our “Help and Support” page on www.comcast.com."

Win 7 Tip: The Taskbar Is the Most Useful New UI Change -- Jason Chen on Gizmodo reports this week (Jan 15 2009) that "once you get past the slightly differently-colored Aero theme in Windows 7, you'll realize that it looks, UI-wise, almost the same as Vista. That is, until you look down at the Taskbar. Now that's new."

Tags: articles, what I read, blogs.

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